First-Time Mountain Biking Racing
Contrary to popular belief that just aggressive, well-sponsored, and very strong riders are able to participate in competitive mountain biking races, all bikers - including you - can enter.
Who can enter the race?
Everybody! A majority of mountain bike races have different categories based on ability, age, and gender. So even if you happen to be a beginner of the sport, or you have been competing in racing for many years, there are races available just for you.
Who organizes these races?
Local communities organize many of the top mountain bike races designed for beginners. Also, most of the participants are your neighbors and friends.
How many people participate in these races? Depending on how popular they are - around 30 to 100 racers.
One of the best things about races that are organized by local communities is they are not as competitive and often the participates are regular bikers like you. So this is a very good place to start if you are going to be joining your first race.
Check with bike websites and local bike shops to find out if any race events are near to you.
Racing helps to improve your biking skills and become a better rider. Your goal in racing is to perform at a higher level than when biking casually. It helps you focus better on the road.
Because you are able to ride as fast as possible, it results in increasing your reaction time to all dips, rocks, corners, and bends. Also, when you know you have a race coming up, you will tend to prepare and eat better.
How much do mountain biking racing cost?
Usually, local community mountain race registration or entry fees cost $10 to $35. Usually, a t-shirt is included. Regional races cost a bit more. Bike gears and gift certificates are given out as prizes.
Awards are also provided for various categories such as Beginner Men 40-49, Expert Men 30-39, Beginner Men 30-39, Beginner Women 30-39, etc. This means there are several chances to win.
When 'depth' is discussed, it refers to the number of places that are awarded for a specific category. So if an award is "five deep" this means prices are awarded from first to fifth place.
However, it really isn't about the prices, but instead about enjoying biking.
What about the rules?
Find out whether you need to be "self-supporting." That means you need to supply everything that you are going to need for the race ranging from repair tools to your own water supply.
If not, then find out if you can share inner tubes and tools with other riders or your teammates. Also, find out if your pit crew and give you a water bottle when you are turning a lap or you can snack on a power bar. Those are important details that you need to know.
Mountain biking races have non-technical, unwritten rules. First of all, do not mess around with any other bikers.
Do not draft (directly riding behind another biker, using him as a shield in order to block the air).
Do not block. Never endanger other riders. The goal of the race is to enjoy camaraderie and have fun, so make sure you don't spoil things by throwing another competitor an empty water bottle or kick another person's bike.
What do you need to do to prepare?
Get stronger. Be physically fit. Ride more frequently. Ride the course one time at least before your race so you can become familiar with the terrain. Make sure to register ahead of time. Pack up everything you are going to need the night before your race.
On the day of the race, get there one hour early. That will give you enough time to socialize with other racers, rest, and do a final check on your bike (unless it is totally necessary, don't make any major changes on race day).
After the race is over, cheer for later finishers, socialize with other racers, wait for the awards, and recall the event.
How To Prepare For A Mountain Biking Race
If casual biking has become boring for you and you have made the decision to enter your first race, then you are going to need to prepare for it. The following are some of the ways you can prepare for a mountain biking race for the first time.
It is important to know about upcoming races as soon as possible. That will help you prepare the necessary paperwork (if any) and give you more time to prepare yourself both mentally and physically.
Many local bike shops and biking websites have race event lists that are open to experts and beginners.
Get your registration or entry forms as soon as possible. Pre-register so you don't have to stand in a long line on the day of your race.
Know the date, time, and location of the race, the direction, the categories, and length of the race. It is best if you ride on the same trail prior to racing day to learn the terrain and to become familiar with the track.
If you will be riding by yourself, be sure to pack everything that you going to need including food and water, shoes, gloves, helmet, suitable clothing for the weather, tire repair kit, and a tool kit.
If you will be riding as part of a team, then check with the organizers of the race to find out what the rules are.
Are you able to snack on power bars during your race? Are you able to borrow a spare inner tube or tools from your teammates? Are you able to have your pit crew give you a
water bottle while you are turning a lap? It is important to know these things ahead of time to properly strategize and prepare prior to your race.
If you will be riding by yourself, be sure to pack everything that you going to need including food and water, shoes, gloves, helmet, suitable clothing for the weather, tire repair kit, and a tool kit. If you will be riding as part of a team, then check with the organizers of the race to find out what the rules are.
Are you able to snack on power bars during your race? Are you able to borrow a spare inner tube or tools from your teammates?
Are you able to have your pit crew give you a water bottle while you are turning a lap? It is important to know these things ahead of time to properly strategize and prepare prior to your race.
Note that all kinds of mountain races are quite competitive. If this is going to be your first race, don't push yourself too much. Your goal doesn't need to be to win the race. There is much more to race other than winning. Continue to improve and enjoy the view at the same time.
Two days or sooner before race day, check out your bike. That will give you enough time to purchase replacement parts if you need to. You don' want to have to find a shop at the last minute before your race starts to buy a replacement inner tube.
Get to the race early, at least one hour ahead of time. That will give you enough time to park, rest, loosen up, relax, and deal with any registration issues. Establish a pre-race ritual. That will allow you to do your last check on your bike and get mentally prepared.
Warm-up by riding a lap around the racing course. Stretch your muscles. Think about taking a trainer or roller with in bad weather.
Before your race, eat foods that are rich in fats, protein, and carbohydrates. Drink lots of water as well.
Once the gate drops or the gun is shot, start pedaling fast!
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.